I don’t know that I would call myself fat. My body isn’t toned like some of the other girls I know. I have a tiny waist with big hips and thighs. The pear shaped curves that make up my figure used to be a source of humiliation. I would look at myself in the mirror while wondering, “Why do the other girls have little to no curves and look good in everything? Why is this the case with my own sister, and not myself? Why am I different?”
For a very long time, thin was in. If you weren’t considered “skinny,” you weren’t looked at by boys and more often than not you weren’t popular in general. I often received probably innocent but still backhanded compliments such as, “You have such a beautiful face!”
Sometimes, my personality and intelligence were remarked on while my thinner peers were told how stunning they were. I hate to say that it was rough for me as I was growing into a young woman, but it certainly wasn’t easy. Being all brains and witty as hell didn’t help me when I so desperately wanted to fit into the current trends. Usually, this desire led to countless tears in a dressing room. I felt less than others.
Suddenly, in the past two years or so, a shift occurred in the media. Celebrities such as Gabourey Sidibe, Jennifer Lawrence, Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Meghan Trainor, and the Kardashians all started to defend their curves. Now, if you have a booty you have “it”. I’m starting to be complimented on my figure and told that i’m beautiful overall. Yet, I don’t feel any better.
I’m proud of pop culture for embracing women with a little more meat on their bones. I could not be more thrilled that these women are being lifted up instead of brought down by society. However, I’m still disappointed that as a whole looks are still above all else. As a young girl, if I didn’t believe that being found attractive was most important, perhaps I wouldn’t have been so distraught over what is now “hot.”
Also, I’m curious about the young girls who are simply thin naturally. I have plenty of friends who are this way. If the standard to be all curves was present when we were in middle school, would they have been in my position? With the height of social media, will they see the huge amount of hate skinny girls are currently getting? I see pictures discrediting naturally slim girls as women in general, saying that a real man would never go for them. That’s not fair. Women should be standing together, not tearing one another down.
How would girls self-esteem would be affected if society let them know that being your own person is something to embrace? Instead of telling them they need to change, I propose letting them know that they are beautiful as is.